The three trends driving marketing analytics in 2018

marketing trends

In this era of data-driven everything, the need for high-quality marketing analytics has never been greater.

Yet for many companies, marketing analytics still consists of a weekly report and perhaps a dashboard or two.

More forward-thinking organisations, however, have been pushing ahead with new analytics tools and processes. To find out more about these trends in marketing analytics, Econsultancy recently invited industry expert David Sanderson, CEO, Nugit to present at Digital Outlook 2018 in Singapore. To an audience of over 400 marketers, David spelled out what will be driving marketing analytics in 2018 and how marketers can keep up.

Before we start with the summary, we’d just like to let you know that Econsultancy is holding an Advanced Mastering Analytics course in Singapore on April 5th, 2018. You can find out more and book your spot here.

1) Marketing analysts will need to use many new data sources

Traditionally, business decisions in many organisations were powered by marketing analytics which relied on big, centralized-managed data servers or data warehouses. According to David, though, things have been changing recently and now companies find that analysts also need to ferret out data stored in many ‘mini’ data warehouses.

In addition to the usual internal data repositories, marketing analysts also need to pull data from dozens of separate systems including:

  • Google Analytics
  • SEO platform
  • Salesforce or other CRM
  • Email service provider
  • Major media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, AdWords
  • Chat applications

Combined, these data sources will provide better insights for marketing and sales than internal systems on their own and they will help the business drive consumer interest, optimize pricing, and deliver an improved customer experience.

So, according to David, analysts must now do more than just analyse. They must also identify where important data resides, determine what needs to be extracted and devise a strategy for using new data sources to drive business decisions.

2) Artificial intelligence (AI) will be essential for analytics

David also noted that the speed of data coming into the organisation has now increased to the extent that it is no longer possible for human analysts to process it all.

To help, a number of firms have sprung up which offer marketing analytics with baked-in artificial intelligence (AI). These systems use machine learning and other AI techniques to help analysts find patterns in customer data, elicit recommendations for optimising performance, and allow non-professionals to access complicated analytics using simple language.

For example, Hyper Anna, a venture-backed marketing provider of ‘machine intelligence for marketers’, takes in company data and returns ‘high-impact use cases’. This means that marketing data such as customer interactions, financial performance, and supplier activities can be uploaded and Hyper Anna provides information about cross-sell and upsell opportunities, revenue forecasting, and supply chain management information.

Another firm, Datorama offers ‘AI-powered marketing intelligence’ which makes it easy for marketers to unify data across systems and access powerful analytics using natural language.  David pointed out that Datorama is now integrated with Amazon’s Alexa and offers voice-activated marketing analytics.

3) Analysts will become storytellers

While the analyst toolbox traditionally consisted of skills such as SQL, business analysis, and Excel, analysts in 2018 will be expected to do much more than crunch data and produce reports.

With the new data sources and AI tools described above, analysts will be expected to:

  • Obtain data from non-traditional sources,
  • Clean data with programming languages such as Python,
  • ‘Polish’ the data using data visualization tools and create attractive charts and graphs, and
  • Transform data into easy-to-understand stories which help non-analysts understand emerging trends and opportunities

Simply creating a dashboard and sending out a weekly report will not be enough. Like all marketers, analysts in 2018 will have to focus more on their customers – the people in the organisation who need to extract meaning from all of the data now available so that they can improve business performance.

A word of thanks

Econsultancy would like to thank David Sanderson, CEO Nugit for his presentation about what we can all expect for marketing analytics in 2018.

We’d also like to thank everyone who attended on the day. We hope you gained valuable insights from the programme and that we will see you at future Econsultancy events!

NOTE: This article was written by Jeff Rajeck, and was published on www.econsultancy.com. You can read the full article HERE.

5 Hot Topics in the Small Business Community

What Leading-Edge Entrepreneurs Are Talking About in 2018

Business is a strange beast indeed. On the one hand, it is ever-changing, not staying still for even the slightest moment. But then, on the other hand, some things never change. Discussions we’ve been having since the dawn of industrialization are still being had today.

In this realm of constant change, the small business has become something much more vital to the system than it was in yesteryear. It’s the testing ground where new ideas are brought to life, ideas too daring and out-there for most major corporations. Ideas that can revolutionize entire verticals and industries, changing them overnight and turning a small startup run out of some guy’s basement in the suburbs to a billion-dollar Silicon Valley heavyweight.

So what’s the big buzz in small business these days? Let’s dig in:

Artificial Intelligence

Okay, so maybe this one’s a bit of a cheat, since the idea of AI and how it can shape the way we do business in the future has been the hot topic for a few years now without ever stopping to catch its breath. But the AI conversation just went from hot to absolutely volcanic when Google recently unveiled their Assistant app’s new ability to make phone calls on users’ behalf—and the AI passed for human. (Seriously, play the video with your eyes closed, it’s uncanny.) There’s been talk for a while now about employing AI in minor customer interactions, but now all bets are off, and how this will affect the relationship between companies and clientele moving forward is anyone’s guess.

Employee Benefits

Employee turnover is more than a hassle: it’s also incredibly expensive. Just how much money companies lose every year from losing members of their team is hard to calculate, though it can range from the tens of thousands to the millions. Where does this money go, exactly? It goes into recruiting, training, and decreased efficiency from teams who are suddenly short-staffed or dealing with less experienced newcomers. While accurate capacity planning can help budget for these abrupt employment changes, the big players can more easily offset these costs compared to small businesses. Many are turning to more comprehensive benefits packages as a way to not only attract but also retain top-tier professional talent. The top benefits employees care about include better health coverage (including dental and vision), flexible scheduling, and better vacation time. Maternity/paternity leave and daycare also ranked as important.

Remote Teams

As the internet brings the globe closer and closer together, many small businesses are no longer restricted to simply finding star employees in their own backyard. If the absolute best fit for what you’re looking for happens to live in Canada, or Australia, or some other far-away place, that’s no longer an impediment. And while this is a tremendous advantage for many businesses, it also presents a bevy of challenges for managers and project leaders. In 2018, small businesses are looking at how they can bring the social element back to a team that has the capacity to be spread across continents, particularly through encouraging social learning and frequent peer interaction.

This article is being shared from Olympia Benefits. You can read this full article when you follow this link- https://www.olympiabenefits.com/blog/5-hot-topics-in-the-small-business-community-for-june-2018.

 

18 Business Trends that Will Shape the World in 2018

18 Business Trends That Will Shape the World in 2018
These predictions will govern the business world in the upcoming year, and are followed by seven things your company can do to prepare.
by Marc Emmer Strategy and Strategic Planning Expert

After a year when the Dow, Nasdaq and U.S. GNP all demonstrated strong momentum, opportunities will abound in 2018*:

1. Entire industries will be reshaped by vertical mergers and acquisitions. Consolidationcontinues to be the agent of change in most industries. Recent acquisition announcements such as Amazon (Whole Foods), CVS (Aetna), and AT&T (Time Warner) demonstrate that companies are going vertical. Their next step will be to further consolidate suppliers, who need to provide greater capabilities.

2. After a weak 2017, the IPO market will rebound. According to Baker McKenzie, IPOs are expected to exceed $70 billion in value in 2018, buoyed by a strong stock market and tech sector.

3. The U.S. economy is surging, and renewed business confidence will drive growth. The WSJ/Vistage CEO Confidence Index, an indicator of small business confidence, rose 14 percent versus the prior year through October. 75 percent of those surveyed expect higher revenue in 2018 after a strong showing in 2017. 

4. Tax reform will be a boon for most entrepreneurs. Through the Congressional reconciliation process, the implications will become clearer, but the two proposals provide dramatic savings to pass-through entities that deploy capital. While professional services will see little tax benefit, CPAs, wealth advisors and financial services firms will have new opportunities to broker advice.

5. Leading American technology companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon are facing “techlash” around the world. Shackled by controversies around censorship, privacy issues and data loss, tech giants are facing significant headwinds in China, Germany and elsewhere.

6. Immersive technologies explode onto the scene. 2018 will be the year that businesses deploy real-world applications of augmented reality (AR), and, to a lesser extent, virtual reality (VR). Already in use in many daily routines (such as the heads-up display in your car), augmented reality will be used to train machinists, pilots and retail employees.

7. IoT helps us make better decisions. According to Gartner there are already 8.4 billion “things”, and growing 30 percent every year. Companies are using IoT to accumulate data in real time.

8. Using artificial intelligence, bots will solve problems. For example, Facebook Messenger’s Woebot provides a daily chat and teaches behavior techniques to people who are depressed, or forgot to go to the gym. Business applications will abound.

9. Ecommerce reaches a tipping point. After a hot Black Friday and Cyber Monday, online sales are expected to grow a robust 20 percent in 2018. Amazon Prime is putting pressure on the entire industry to achieve next-day delivery. According to The Wall Street Journal, 8,600 stores will close in 2018.

10. Cryptocurrencies are no longer a fad. Bitcoin’s recent rise coincides with its listing on future exchanges where investors can hedge.

11. Here come the drones. The FAA will implement a new identification system to allow more precise monitoring, but also to enable more commercial applications.

12. Private sector space race reaches new heights. In 2018, a NASA aircraft will visit Mars while SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Boeing and Blue Origin duke it out to provide opportunities for passengers to take a lap around the moon.

13. Tesla will sell half a million cars, paving the way for a new generation of zero-emissions vehicles. The new Model 3 offers true disruption in the form of a car that is fun to drive and affordable to the masses.

14. The great American housing imbalance constrains employment. As hot tech jobs migrate to urban centers like San Francisco and San Jose, millennials can’t afford to live in proximity to work. Even manufacturing workers often commute 60 minutes or more every day, putting more pressure on employers.

15. Employers will be more aware of harassment in the workplace. Companies will employ new practices and methods, reduce alcohol consumption and provide a safe harbor for employees to come forward.

16. Immigrant workers will be even harder to come by. The government is hiring over 10,000 ICE agents and shifting policy on H1B and L1 visas.

17. The pot business reaches new highs. When recreational marijuana becomes legal in California, Maine and Massachusetts, the market will effectively triple. New capital and entrepreneurs are flooding the market, but institutional investment is on the sidelines given the confusing federal, state and local oversight.

18. The global economy is still fragile. There is much to be optimistic about. But potential flashpoints in North Korea, China (rising debt), Venezuela (inflation over 1,000 percent) and Brazil (corruption), as well as threats of natural disaster and terrorism, put the world economy on tenuous footing.

Given these trends, what should your focus be in 2018?

  • Get great tax planning advice now, so you can act before the end of 2017.
  • Have a nimble strategic plan, that can change on a moment’s notice. Review it quarterly to ensure you are in a position to seize the opportunities ahead.
  • Invest in technology. Ask of your management team, how is technology a strategic advantage? If your team doesn’t have the chops to answer the question, find the people who do. Weave technology into your strategic plan.
  • Hire people before you need them. If the economy continues to heat up, and unemployment levels off at 4 percent or so, it’s going to be nearly impossible to find talent.
  • Be a best-in-class employer, and push the envelope on providing a flexible work environment (including virtual office space).
  • Utilize collaboration tools that allow you to provide your team the ability to be effective, in any location at any time.
  • Execute flawlessly. Given the rate of change, customers expect on-time delivery, great quality and seamless communication. Utilize agile principles to ensure your team can pivot quickly to meet evolving customer demands.

*Nothing in this post represents investment advice. 

This article was not written by James Hunter. This article was written by Marc Emmer, and shared directly from www.inc.com.

 

Tech Trends for 2018

Top 10 Tech Trends For 2018

 Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

As Nostradamuses everywhere whip out their crystal balls and begin their annual exercise, predicting the next Big Idea/Theme for 2018, we’re going to give you our Top 10 predictions, based on an entirely more rigorous and systematic approach.

Every year, an interdisciplinary team of futurists, analysts and consultants in Frost & Sullivan’s Visionary Innovation Group takes a pause from looking at 10-year horizons, and comes together to identify the trends that will make the biggest impact in the coming year.

So how did we score with our predictions for 2017? We hit a bull’s eye with our assertions regarding Data-as-a-Service, Connected Living, the AI Personal Assistant Race, Cognitive is the New Smart, and the Industrial IOT Ecosystem play. (Confession: We were not, alas, as successful in our predictions about what the current U.S. administration would say or do!)

2017 saw major advances in the Smart Home space that both our Connected Living and AI Personal Assistant predictions addressed. Google launched a smart home system, as we predicted, and smart home systems saw major leaps in terms of adoption and capabilities.

Data-as-a-Service was a huge theme for the year, one in which we saw strong interest from industries ranging from health wearables and auto manufacturers, to industrial solution providers. The conversation around how to take advantage of data you already own, and develop products that will generate increasing volumes of valuable data, markedly gained in intensity over the last year. This also closely tied into our theme of Cognitive is the New Smart, with all of this data serving as the foundation for AI capabilities.

One trend in which our outlier prediction prevailed over traditional expectations was about the trend of increasing insularity, nationalism and protectionism. At the end of 2016, it looked as though countries around the world were poised to turn inward and retreat from the global stage. While that did happen in isolated cases, for the most part voters (just about) rejected this continued sentiment in major elections in France, Germany and the Netherlands.

As we look to 2018, we see several common themes emerging: the rapidly growing and transformational nature of technology continues to dominate the conversation, but we can expect it to be paralleled by an increasingly passionate debate about the extent and degree of government and regulatory influence aimed at mitigating the growing power of technology. This will gain momentum as leading tech companies race toward a trillion dollar valuation, and scrutiny of and protection against misinformation and hacking increases. Further in the technology space, we can also expect to see the emergence of themes that were regarded as the preserve of science fiction, such as the testing of flying cars (truly, back to the future!) and the emergence of quantum supremacy. Less tech-focused themes include the rise of a new generation of political leaders and the growing adoption of behavioural science by enterprises, with a focus on optimising both employee productivity and consumer purchase patterns.

The Trillion-Dollar Sprint

2018 is likely to be the year that a leading Fortune 500 company (think tech titans Apple, Google, Microsoft or Amazon, with petroleum giant Saudi Aramco crashing the tech party) surpasses the trillion dollar valuation mark. The trillion-dollar question is which corporate behemoth will be the first to claim this bragging right? Attainment of this benchmark will highlight a new level of corporate power and influence but will also result in closer monitoring by competitors, regulators and consumers. These companies might become trillion dollar babies but key for them will be earning and retaining public trust the world over.

The Innovation Tug-of-War

Rising concerns regarding technology companies’ increasing power is driving pushback from government organizations, and we expect this trend to gain momentum in 2018. Greater government and regulatory oversight is likely to protect consumers and curb corporate overreach, but may also stunt innovation. Underscoring this trend will be the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect in mid-2018, as well as adjusted net neutrality rules in the US.

The Quantum Leap

Long the domain of science fiction and theory, quantum computing looks poised to outperform traditional supercomputers and achieve supremacy in 2018. Competitors in the space are aggressively racing to increase their qubit computing power, while minimizing the potential for errors. Experimentation of quantum computing in conjunction with encryption, AI, materials, and qubit generation will be key areas of focus in 2018. Be ready to hear “Quantum” as the next buzz word.

Flying Cars Reach for the Skies

Get ready to throw out the conventional road safety rule book. You might not have to check skywards just yet when you cross the road, but flying cars are getting ready to ruffle some feathers (and it’s not just birds we are talking about!). Numerous competitors laid the groundwork in 2017, testing their flying vehicle models, with more expected in 2018. The biggest leap forward in this space, and in the public’s popular imagination, will be the much anticipated launch of a flying taxi service in Dubai this summer. Expect more buzz worthy investments as awareness becomes more widespread.

Companies Listen In for Lucre

Fears over tech companies eavesdropping on consumer conversations have been inflamed with the rising adoption of Smart Home devices and AI Personal Assistants. This will be a hot button topic as capabilities and past incidents signal the high likelihood of conversations being illegally tapped. Gear up for intensified media scrutiny along with consumer and regulatory pushback in 2018.

Debunking the Fabricated

It’s not as if fake news is a novel idea. But, it hogged the headlines in 2017 as fact and fiction got completely tangled (or, do we mean mangled?). Governments, industry participants and citizen-focused initiatives are already coming together to identify, reduce and prevent misinformation strategies and fake news in 2018. In light of recent incidents, the focus will be on quelling interference in political processes and social polarization efforts. Developments may lead to the segmentation of social media based on verified identities, pseudonyms, and anonymous environments.

Embracing the Rise of Enterprise Behavioural Science

We expect to see 2018 as the year that behavioural science takes hold in the enterprise, with savvy companies embracing these economic and social science principles to increase worker productivity and nudge consumers towards desirable outcomes. Media attention on early adopters and Nobel Prize recognition of the discipline’s founder will prompt growing adoption in 2018. Brace yourself for a flurry of behavioural science consultancies, as well as more behavioral scientists in HR, strategy, and marketing positions.

Brand Youth as Politics Undergoes a Generational Shift

Justin Trudeau is perhaps the most recognizable among a new generation of political leaders from around the world—New Zealand to North Korea, and Austria to Saudi Arabia—who are redefining politics as usual. While some of these new leaders champion political views stereotypical of their generation, others have veered towards more conventional ideas. The emergence of these young leaders marks a watershed: it will signal either a rising tide of millennial leaders, or will relegate these early entrants to a short-lived experiment with change.

Managing Global Natural Disaster Strategies

Hurricanes, mudslides, earthquakes and floods battered the world with unprecedented frequency and ferocity in 2017. As the social and economic toll mounts, prepare for consortiums of businesses, municipalities and insurance companies working together in 2018 to take more aggressive steps and employ innovative strategies to minimize the impact of these natural disasters.

Platform-Only Business Models Cede Ground

In 2017, we saw some interesting developments at the world’s most notable platforms, Uber and AirBnB, which indicated a move beyond platform-only business models and into acquisition and partnership with asset providers. This underlined a need to differentiate and overcome some of the challenges that a platform-only model presents, with the objective of increasing the value of both digital and physical assets.

So that’s our list of top 10 big, bold predictions for 2018. And we’ll check back in a year’s time to see how we did.

This article was written with contributions from Lauren Taylor, a Principal Consultant in the Visionary Innovation Group at Frost & Sullivan, as well as the global Visionary Innovation Group at Frost & Sullivan. Research and analysis is developed in greater detail in the forthcoming “Top Trends for 2018” study.

You can read the original article on www.forbes.com.

Trends that Will Drive Success in Business in 2018

success in business

Business trends are always interesting to look at, but what will drive success in business in the new year?

The ability to be bold and innovative is what makes a business successful. What makes a business owner super successful?

There are numerous things we can discuss that help a business achieve its goals, but what’s the latest?

Today, this article is going to discuss what trends will drive success in business in the coming year, and how you can achieve real growth in 2018.

Success in Business in 2018 with New Ideals

There are tons of ways to experience growth in your business in the coming year, but what are the trends?

Here are some ways that you can plan to achieve success in business in 2018:

  1. Customer experience with artificial intelligence. You probably didn’t see this one coming, and it’s still new. However, machines that can learn more about what you can do are ideal for growing your business. Teaching machines that can carry out tasks just like human beings brings a whole new meaning to customer experience. Less human interaction is what it brings, but it does amplify the opportunity to build and grow and online business. Although this isn’t really referring to marketing automation, it is clear that the more automated a business can be, the more likely it is to grow and flourish. There are roughly 3-4 levels of artificial intelligence (AI). Could these be the one way in which business succeed and go over the top in their goals?
  2. Facebook Live is a real, productive tool! Okay, okay, so Facebook live was something you thought was great to help you see concerts that you could not attend through the eyes of those who did attend. It’s true, but Facebook live events, or live social media streaming is changing the way we communicate and do business. You can now respond quicker and you can have communications with those who did not communicate with before. There is no need to take forever to talk to a group of folks when you can do it over Facebook live, and you can do it all from your smartphone. Wow.
  3. An opportunity for you in health care and more. The job sector is growing, that can no longer be hidden. The top industries that will experience tremendous growth are care for the elderly and most forms of healthcare. Nothing can replace good hands on treatment of a nurse and other assistants so be ready to enter into healthcare. If you want to start in a new field for success in business, think along the lines of healthcare, wellness, and anything related.
  4. Training will change to social learning. Book knowledge is only as good as when it is put to use. If you want your company to grow, use social learning by all means. When individuals are able to learn through their peers, they will become more confident and take a more team oriented approach. You can easily keep employees connected when you allow them to interact with each other and learn tips and tricks from one another. This is useful but it is also building a sense of community. Rather than sticking new employees into a room for a training session, consider that they will be more prepared and more anxious to learn through the use of social learning. Studies show that employees learn best in this setting and are more apt to learn better problem-solving skills.

There are numerous ways to grow your business and their are easy ways to find new team members that are willing and ready to work.

If you are willing to take a chance on your team and help them to succeed, now is the time to plan out a fantastic new year.

You will soon discover that companies that are experiencing growth are already doing these things.

If you plan to be a “success in business” in 2018, begin with just one of these innovative changes, you’re likely to discover that it’s easier than you thought possible!